Thursday, September 5, 2019

PEU Backed Physician Companies Behind Surprise Medical Billing

KKR's Envision and Blackstone's TeamHealth, huge physician companies, are behind surprise medical bills.   The Hill reported in May:

Patients hate surprise medical bills, but they are very profitable for the private equity owners of companies like EmCare (now called Envision) and TeamHealth. Fixing this problem may be more difficult than the White House imagines.
Legislation to address this significant problem faces stiff opposition.  The Hill reported today:

The surprise billing measure has support from bipartisan committee leaders in both the House and Senate, patient advocates and insurers — and was moving forward quickly before Congress left town for August. It was seen as one of the most promising avenues for lawmakers to target health costs this year.

But those efforts are stalling amid a fierce lobbying blitz and political pressures as the 2020 elections nears.

Doctors groups are running millions of dollars in ads against the effort.
Doctor Patient Unity has spent at least $10 million opposing legislation to reign in surprise medical bills.  The group does not disclose its donors.

TeamHealth's PEU owner Blackstone spent over $12.7 million in soft money (outside spending groups) for the 2018 elections cycle.   Envision's sponsor KKR historically gave more to Republicans, but increased donations to the Blue team during Clinton and Obama's successful Presidential runs.  

Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman and KKR's Henry Kravis can pick up the phone and reach President Trump and most Congressional representatives.  There is no way the common person is lobbying for surprise medical bills, which only add to America's greatest stressor, money.

If Congress cannot address an opaque healthcare system that allows patients to be gouged then my longtime saying remains true.  Politicians Red and Blue love PEU.

Update 9-11-19:  One meme for not eliminating surprise medical bill gouging has politicians giving empathy to PEU companies that need to pay back their bond/debt obligations.  ""What we've seen (from industry) is, 'First, protect me financially.'"  A Daily Beast story on this issue reveals how widespread the PEU virus is in today's world.

Update 12-2-19:  Blackstone's Team Health said it stopped suing poor people.  It did not say it stopped overcharging those who could pay.